How To Reduce Menstrual Pain

 

MENSTRUATION. The one word, one week in a month, one aspect of living in women’s body that we don’t like, don’t appreciate, want to hide from and don’t truly connect with in a meaningful way.

Since the start of our menstrual cycles back when we were pre-adult we were raised by strong ideas that menstruation is and should be painful, numbing and debilitating. We get through our lives by desensitizing ourselves for 2-3 days every month, never truly searching for the real solutions. (HINT: PACKAGE OF PANADOL is not the ANSWER).
Did you know that your menstruation should not hurt? The cycle of monthly bleeding should not be so debilitating that you cannot function for four days straight, are unable to enjoy your favourite meal or literally have the need to call in sick on the first day of your period.

According of one of my teacher Katy Bowman, ‘’ Menstrual cramps are usually caused by extremely tight posterior or leg muscles (everything from the hamstrings down to the soles of the feet).’’

So much of our period pain comes from spending way too much time in chronically tucked pelvis position. Chairs, toilettes, sofas and car seats are not designed with a notion of a healthy pelvis, and their un-natural shape does not allow us to be in correct position- which creates very high tension in the pelvis. Furthermore, the pelvic floor is one of the body’s primary stress containers. When we feel scared, insecure, or threatened, our bodies rush into the stress response. Because of so many of us have completely lost our connection to the pelvic floor muscles, we are unable to mindfully relax this area any longer. As a result, the pelvic floor can overtime lose its natural range of motion, tone and elasticity.

 

TRUTHBOMB:  Your menstrual pain & discomfort comes from tension in the pelvis.
Tweet: Your menstrual pain & discomfort comes from tension in the pelvis. #truthbomb @dagmarkhan

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Doing soft tissue work, self-massage and stretching is a gateway to normalizing your menstrual cycles. Meaning? Ditch the painkillers, and start restoring the suppleness in the back of the legs, pelvis and normalizing the optimal pelvic position.

Are you ready to know how to reduce menstrual pain? Let’s get to it!

 

MENSTRUAL PAIN RELIEVING SEQUENCE:

1. LEGS UP THE WALL:

This movement helps to open the entire region from inside of the knee, through the groin and into the pelvic area. The addition of lying on your back and encouraging deep abdominal breath is an excellent way how to encourage more balance in the whole nervous system.

Legs Up The Wall

  • Lay down on your back close to a wall.
  • Snuggle your pelvis as close to the wall as possible
  • Orient your trunk so it faces the same direction
  • Open your legs out into a straddle
  • Rest your arms alongside your body
  • Close your eyes and take couple of deep abdominal breaths
  • Stay for 2-5 minutes
  • To come out, step by step progress your legs back towards the center until your knee touch (do not rush this movement).
  • EXTRA TIP: if your hamstrings are very tight, straightening your knees in a straddle won’t be an option. Adjust by bending your knees slightly to accommodate the back of the legs for more comfort.

 

2. SUPINE COBBLER

This is second excellent pose for helping to get into the inner thighs and groins. Because of the reclining position on your back, you are allowing the gravity to assist you in helping to bring more blood flow into abdominal and pelvic organs, while simultaneously stimulating the relaxation response in the whole pelvis.

Supine Cobbler

  • From the previous pose, simply bend your knees, and bring the soles & heels of your feet together
  • The arms remain relaxed alongside your body
  • Breathe abdominally, and stay for 2-5 minutes.

 

3. SUPPORTED PSOAS STRETCH

One of a big additional reason for menstrual cramps is tight psoas. Psoas major, which grows out of the T12 (where your ribs meet with your lower back) and inserts into the lesser trochanter (inner thigh) is by far the single most important muscle in the body.  In addition to being a muscle, it is also a mover of the nervous system. Within the psoas tissue is embedded the lumbar plexus, a microflora of nerves which effects the health of your core, the pelvic floor and the adductors.

When the psoas becomes tight, it will create tension patterns in the pelvis, increasing internal pressure and easily resulting in menstrual cramps.

The supported psoas stretch is a wonderful exercise to help elongate the psoas. The addition of the block supporting the weight of the leg allows you to maintain this position for longer periods of time without using much of a muscular effort. Result= more comfort in your pelvis and less menstrual cramping!

Supported Psoas Stretch

  • Step your right foot forward into a lunge
  • Place a Yoga block just above the left knee (on the meat of the quadriceps)
  • Allow the total weight of your left leg to fall into the block
  • Stay for 90 seconds, all the while breathing deeply
  • Switch sides

 

4. MASSAGE FOR YOUR ADDUCTORS

This self-massage treatment helps to increase circulation and blood flow to the upper portion of the inner thigh, and the inner thigh attachment to the pelvis. You will simultaneously train to activate your inner thighs for more efficient pelvic alignment.

Massage For Your Adductors

  • Rest down on your forearms with your torso facing the ground
  • Place the roller ( I recommend MELT ROLLER) under your inner thigh just above the knee
  • Stay mindful of a good alignment if your shoulders, as you start to roll the roller from the inside of the knee higher up towards the groin {perform 6-8 strolls}
  • Next, bring the roller to starting position {pictured}
  • Begin to slowly open and fold the knee. Inhale when the knee is bent, and exhale as you outstretch the knee and straighten the lower leg {perform 6-8 times}
  • Finally, create an action of ‘’contract-relax.’’ Take a deep breath, then pause and hold the breath while simultaneously your look for creating action of bracing the inner thigh around the roller; hold it for 7 seconds, then exhale and relax the inner thigh completely. This equals to one round. Perform 4-5 times.

I strongly recommend doing this sequence every single day one week before your expected period. Throughout your menstrual cycle, do the entire sequence 2 times a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) for first 4 days, and then you can slowly slide into playing with the outlines exercises once a day (ideally in the morning) for the rest of your menstrual cycle.

Now let’s get on the floor and start stretching!

 

Results. Clarity. Empowered Education.  And a pelvic floor rehabilitation programme that actually works for you and doesn’t mean you have to deal with the cycles of pain for lifetime.This is exactly what the PELVIC FLOOR REHAB PROGRAMME is all about. And this isn’t like anything else out there, it’s based on 10+ years of learning, studying, applying and working with woman from all walks of life. We’ll keep the cookie cutters in your kitchen and instead navigate you towards empowered self-care -which will grant and give you blueprint to take care of your pelvic floor health for a lifetime.

The PELVIC FLOOR REHAB PROGRAMME is only open for registration through February 14th {hello Valentine}, and we will get to work together from the 3rd week of February.

Get the Scoop on the PELVIC FLOOR REHAB.

 

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